Using Monzo in NZ

I’ve been using Monzo for some time now. Great way of using money abroad! Until our arrival in New Zealand. It seems NZ treat Monzo as a credit card! Banks are applying a fee. If I use contactless the receipt says credit card and applies a fee. If I try and avoid that an insert the card I am given the option of savings, cheque or credit. I’ve tried using both the “sav”and “Chq” options but the transaction is always declined.
Have NZ banks wised up to the Monzo card and stopped one of its key benefits of being a debit card?


New Zealand is a little odd with credit/debit cards and most places charge to use a credit card. I know that some businesses use systems that do not recognise non-New Zealand debit cards and treat them as a credit card, in which case regardless of the UK debit card you use, there should be a fee.

I’m in New Zealand next week so will report back if this is a Monzo thing mostly or just a UK debit card thing. I’m using Monzo but my partner will be using Chase and his New Zealand cards where he can.


It’s not just in NZ. Overseas most UK debit cards are processed as credit cards. Usually doesn’t matter unless, if course, shops charge for using credit cards.

I’m not sure that’s exactly true. I travel a fair bit and never noticed anything being processed as credit, and many places I go to specifically charge more for credit cards or don’t accept them.

Of course I’m not looking out for it, so any data on that would be helpful.


You generally won’t notice it but in America, Australia and NZ they offer the debit/credit/savings option and I’ve found the only one that works is credit. On another thread here it was previously pointed out that overseas debit cards are processed through the credit card network, I understand because debit really only work locally.

1 Like

That’s three countries though. I’ll give you the US but it’s not that they think UK cards are credit cards it’s just that a lot of machines require you to choose which one it is, and if it’s not a US debit card the only option is credit.

I wouldn’t say that counts as “overseas” generally. Lot of other countries out there!

Visited NZ 6 months ago, and used my Monzo over the period of 3 weeks. New Zealand use some random thing called ‘paywave’, which is basically like contactless, but smaller businesses seem to charge you a small amount for using this (rather than inserting your card in the machine, where there’s no charge). It’s very strange.

In most scenarios, bigger stores etc, there weren’t any problems. Occasionally I had to hit ‘credit card’ for the machine to recognise it.

Enjoy NZ, it’s a great country.

1 Like

My other half is from there so be nice for him to get back for the first time since 2020!

And we’re going via San Francisco and Sydney so get a day or two sightseeing on the way!


Very wise, that flight is a killer!


I’ve crossed the International Date Line a couple of times in the West-to-East direction (Sydney to Los Angeles) and that was hard. Going the other way must be a heck of a bodyclock fubar. Booze helps.

Enjoy the trip - sounds like a cracking adventure!

Business class all the way :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Thanks Avios :wine_glass:

1 Like

Oh good! I did outbound in Business, and return in Economy, and what a difference…

1 Like

Business for two, to NZ! Someone’s got (or had!) an awful lot of points.

1 Like

Well that and a companion voucher and a good Qantas sale

1 Like

East to West is great. We left Buenos Aires about 11pm and arrived in Auckland effectively two days later but with no jet lag.

Also did London 3pm to Hawaii 11pm the same day. Up at 9am local time the next day with no jet lag.

1 Like

Thanks for the replies. Previously used the card in Madeira without any of these charges. It would seem NZ ( and others mentioned above) from my new experience do. It was good while it lasted🥲

Yes that’s exactly my experience as I mention in my opening post. If you select “SAV” or “DEB” on the card reader the transaction will be denied. The only way to get the payment made is to hit the “CDT” (to whatever the 3 letters for Credit are?) button and accept the fee!

How did you get on? Anything extra to report?

Nothing really, didn’t have any issues other than being aware that some places have no surcharge, some have a surcharge for any card payment, and some have a surcharge for contactless but not chip and PIN.

At no point was my Monzo card seen as a credit card though.